Centre for Study of International Slavery partner in UK’s new modern slavery research hub

The University of Liverpool’s Centre for the Study of International Slavery (CSIS) is a partner in a new £10m Policy and Evidence Centre for Modern Slavery and Human Rights based in Leeds.

Current Prime Minister, Theresa May announced the investment in the new research centre ahead of vacating the post later this month. It will focus on prevention, victim recovery, supply chains and law enforcement with the aim of putting an end to the crime of modern slavery.

The new research centre, funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Strategic Priorities Fund and led by UKRI’s Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC), will bring together academics, businesses and charities to drive forward new studies, share knowledge, and improve collaboration both at home and overseas, to further strengthen our response.

Theresa May said: “More than a 100 years ago the world condemned slavery to the history books, but the stark reality for around 40 million men, women and children is that they are still trapped in modern slavery.

“As both Home Secretary and Prime Minister I have endeavoured to shine a light on this hidden crime, to speak out for victims and put modern slavery firmly on the domestic and international agenda.

“There is much we can be proud of in our progress so far, but we need to accelerate our efforts, better share knowledge and build on our expertise.

“That is why we commissioned an Independent Review of the Modern Slavery Act to ensure our laws are keeping pace with the rapidly evolving nature of these crimes, and why I am pleased to support new, innovative research to inform global efforts to end this barbaric crime by 2030.”

Former CSIS Co-Director and current member, Professor Alex Balch said: “This initiative is really significant and promises a step-change in the way that evidence and research informs the modern slavery agenda, an area where there have been concerns raised about the UK’s legal and policy framework.

“The participation of CSIS as one of the core partners is recognition of the important work and track-record of the University of Liverpool on this topic.”

UK Research and Innovation Chief Executive, Professor Sir Mark Walport, said: “The Modern Slavery Policy and Evidence Centre is the first of its kind in the world, designed to bring together researchers, policymakers, businesses, charities and NGOs.

“The UK leads the world on this fundamental issue of human rights using evidence-based policy making, and research and innovation plays a vital role in this effort. The funding announced today through the Strategic Priorities Fund further demonstrates the UK’s commitment to ending modern slavery.”

The multi-disciplinary Centre will be led by the Bingham Centre for the Rule of Law and will be a consortium of universities and Independent Research Organisations with a track record in world class work on modern slavery.  Joining Liverpool as partners in the consortium are the Rights Lab at Nottingham University, the Wilberforce Institute at Hull University, the Bonavero Institute on Human Rights at Oxford University and The Alan Turing Institute in London, the national institute for data science and artificial intelligence.

The Centre for the Study of International Slavery supports and shares leading research about human enslavement and its legacies. To find out more, please visit https://www.liverpool.ac.uk/csis/